When I was teaching, I created a technological singularity lesson plan, on how coming technological advances and changes (and the actual singularity, which I touch on at the beginning of the lesson — I’ve included an overview of the lesson at the bottom of this post) might impact the world. My seventh graders usually shared insights into what the world of tomorrow, following a presumed technological singularity, might look, in context of political systems, culture, geography, and economics. I wrote an article about their insights (and included the lesson plan), and it was published by Bullshit.Ist, an online magazine on Medium. The article is called “How the Technological Singularity will Impact the World (according to seventh graders)” (you can read the whole thing here if you’re interested).
If you read on, I’m sharing an overview of the students’ thoughts, plus a brief overview of the lesson (or, to read what my former students came up with, click here).
Seventh graders, on how the technological singularity might impact the world…
For how the technological singularity might impact political systems, they talked about effects on leadership and control, and law and order.
For how the singularity might impact culture, they discussed potential impacts on communication, concepts of entertainment, and beliefs and values.
For how the technological singularity could impact geography and human settlement patterns, they delved into how and where people might choose to use our environment.
For how the singularity might impact economics, they discussed trade and wealth, and how resources are created and used.
Seventh graders, man.
Here’s an overview of the technological singularity lesson plan:
Objective for the Technological Singularity Lesson Plan:
Students will be able to explore how technological advances expected in the next 50 years (or even the “technological singularity”) might impact political systems, cultures, geography (and human settlement patterns), and economics.
Agenda for the Technological Singularity Lesson Plan:
- Learn about the concept of the technological singularity and its projected outcomes.
- Make some predictions about the future of technology and advances that are coming.
- Using our new understanding of where technology is going, apply our knowledge of principles of political systems, principles of cultures, principles of geography, and principles of economics to making predictions about… (1) How political systems may work, (2) How cultures may change, (3) How geography and human settlement patterns may change, and (4) How economics may be impacted.
This lesson is cool because most seventh graders will love chatting about where technology is heading. But even if nothing else, this lesson is an awesome way to get students to apply their existing knowledge of the principles of political systems, culture, geography, and economics to the modern world. I’ve loved this lesson every year I’ve taught it. If you’re interested, you can read all their insights and the lesson plan here.
(Featured image is from the article).